PSG star Mbappe is Time magazine’s ‘Fu­ture of Soc­cer’

Gulf Times Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

Paris Saint-Ger­main striker Kylian Mbappe’s rapid rise to global fame has earned the teenaged World Cup win­ner an ap­pear­ance on the cover of Time magazine’s in­ter­na­tional edi­tion, to ap­pear to­day. Time said Mbappe was a global su­per­star who “is the fu­ture of soc­cer.”

Mbappe made head­lines in Septem­ber 2017 when he moved from Ligue 1 side Monaco to Paris Saint-Ger­main for a stag­ger­ing 180mn eu­ros ($207mn), a deal that saw the then 18-year-old player handed a re­ported monthly salary of 1.5mn eu­ros ($1.8mn).

But the 19-year-old’s stock sky­rock­eted dur­ing this year’s World Cup, where a se­ries of phe­nom­e­nal dis­plays drew com­pli­ments from Brazil leg­end Pele on his way to help­ing France end their 20-year wait to win an­other World Cup tro­phy.

Mbappe be­came the youngest French goalscorer in World Cup his­tory when he struck in a 1-0 win over Peru in the group stages.

The teenager from the gritty Parisian sub­urb of Bondy then tore apart Lionel Messi-cap­tained Ar­gentina, scor­ing twice and earn­ing a penalty as Les Blues elim­i­nated the highly-fan­cied South Amer­i­cans 4-3 in the last 16 knock­out round.

In do­ing so, Mbappe be­came only the sec­ond teenager, af­ter Pele in 1958, to score two goals in a World Cup match. When Mbappe scored with a five-yard strike in the fi­nal, a 4-2 win over Croa­tia, he be­came only the sec­ond teenager to do so, af­ter Pele, in 1958.

With a to­tal of four goals in the tour­na­ment, Mbappe re­ceived Fi Fa’s award for Best Young Player of the World Cup. Ar­guably bet­ter still were the plau­dits from Pele him­self, who said: “If Kylian keeps on equalling my records, I’m go­ing to have to dust off my boots.”

Mbappe’s teenage days will end when he cel­e­brates his 20th birthday on De­cem­ber 20. He is ex­pected to spear­head France’s at­tack when France host Ice­land in a friendly in Guingamp.

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